Dog Fence Fighting: How to Stop Fence Aggression in Dogs!

Dealing with fence aggression or fence fighting in dogs? This common issue can escalate quickly from noisy disputes to serious aggression, posing risks to dogs and disrupting the peace with your neighbors. Understanding whether the behavior is playful or aggressive, and knowing how to address it, is important for anyone who’s facing this challenge.

We’ll explain why dogs fence fight, the dangers associated with this behavior, and how to tell the difference between play and aggression. Then, we’ll guide you on how to stop fence aggression in dogs, from training commands to using deterrent sprays to creating DIY barriers that prevent visual triggers. Let’s get started!

How to Stop Fence Aggression in Dogs

How to Stop Fence Aggression in Dogs

Fence aggression in dogs, often characterized by barking, growling, lunging, or biting at fences when they see or sense another dog or person on the other side, is a common issue. This behavior can stem from territorial instincts, frustration, fear, or lack of proper socialization. Addressing fence aggression requires a multifaceted approach focusing on training, environmental management, and sometimes, modifications to the fence itself to reduce visual triggers and enhance security.

Spray to Keep Dogs Away From Fence

Using a deterrent spray along the fence line can be an effective temporary solution to keep dogs away from the fence. These sprays can emit scents that dogs find unpleasant, thus discouraging them from approaching too closely.

However, it’s important to choose a humane, non-toxic spray specifically designed for this purpose. Many scent deterrents for dogs such as vinegar won’t work in yards or around fences, as they can kill grass and damage unsealed wood.

Fence Fighting Dogs: Play or Aggression?

Determining whether fence fighting is play or aggression involves closely observing the dogs’ body language:

  • Play: Look for relaxed, bouncy movements, play bows, and a general sense of back-and-forth action that resembles normal play behavior. The vocalizations might be high-pitched and sound more like excitement than aggression.
  • Aggression: Signs of aggression include stiff body posture, raised hackles, deep growls, and snapping. The interaction lacks the fluidity of play and seems more intense and focused.

How to Stop Fence Fighting in Dogs

Stopping fence fighting in dogs involves training and environmental changes:

  1. Block visual access: Use privacy slats, landscaping, or privacy screens to block your dog’s view through the fence. Reducing visual stimuli can decrease the occurrence of fence fighting.
  2. Increase physical and mental exercise: Ensure your dog gets ample exercise and mental stimulation to reduce overall frustration and aggression levels.
  3. Desensitization and counter-conditioning: Gradually expose your dog to the stimuli (other dogs behind the fence) in a controlled manner, rewarding calm behavior and slowly building positive associations.
  4. Teach “leave it” or “come” commands: Train your dog to respond to commands that redirect their attention from the fence and reward compliance with treats or praise. To train the “leave it” command, start with a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it, then close your hand around the treat. Say ‘leave it.’ Wait until your dog stops sniffing and nibbling at your hand. As soon as they back away, praise them and give them the treat. Practice regularly, increasing the difficulty gradually by placing the treat on the ground and covering it with your hand.

Stopping fence aggression in dogs requires a combination of training, environmental management, and sometimes, physical modifications to the fence itself.

It’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, aggression, overexcitement, territoriality, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like fence fighting and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog fence fighting ever again!

Dog Fence Fighting

Dog Fence Fighting

Dog fence fighting is a common behavioral issue where dogs aggressively bark, growl, lunge, or snap at each other from opposite sides of a fence. This behavior can stem from territorial instincts, frustration, the desire to play, or simply the presence of a barrier. You need to understand what’s causing the fence fighting so that you can effectively control it.

Why Do Dogs Fence Fight?

Dogs fence fight due to a variety of reasons including territorial behavior, frustration from being restricted by the fence, high arousal levels from seeing another dog, and lack of proper socialization.

The fence acts as a physical barrier that prevents them from fully interacting with the other dog, which can escalate their instincts and lead to aggressive displays. Learn the 4-steps to take to stop fence fighting in dogs by going back to the first section now.

Dogs Fence Fighting Dangers

Fence fighting poses several dangers:

  • Physical injury: Dogs can hurt themselves on the fence or by aggressive actions taken during the fight.
  • Increased aggression: Regular fence fighting can heighten a dog’s overall aggression levels, affecting their behavior even outside of these confrontations.
  • Stress and anxiety: Continuous fence fighting can lead to increased stress and anxiety for both the dogs and their owners.
  • Property damage: Intense fighting can lead to damage to the fence or surrounding property.

DIY Fence Fighting Barriers

Creating DIY barriers can help mitigate fence fighting by reducing visual stimulation and physical access:

  1. Privacy screens: Attach privacy screens or fabric to the fence to block the dogs’ view of each other.
  2. Landscape barriers: Plant dense shrubs or trees along the fence line as a natural barrier.
  3. Solid fencing: Replace chain-link or open fencing with solid wood or vinyl panels to remove visual access.
  4. Height extensions: Add height to the fence to prevent dogs from seeing over it, reducing arousal from visual stimuli.

Your dog fence fighting is a complex issue that can be addressed through understanding its causes, recognizing the potential dangers, and implementing practical solutions. Learn exactly what to do in the first section.

By reducing visual triggers and physical access through DIY barriers and fostering a calm environment, you can help minimize fence fighting behaviors and promote a more peaceful and safe outdoor space for your dog.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about fence fighting in dogs answered, so I’ll let you get going on things. Good luck, and thanks for checking out our article “Dog Fence Fighting: How to Stop Fence Aggression in Dogs!”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.